There was a terrorist bombing on Saturday night at an upscale mall, the Centro Andino in the heart of Bogota, Colombia’s tourist district. Three people were killed and nine were injured. There has been no claim of responsibility yet, but the focus is on one of Colombia’s revolutionary groups, the National Liberation Army, or ELN, that has been responsible for other recent bombings in that country.
This bombing sheds light on the vulnerabilities that everyone faces in public venues or gathering places like shopping malls, restaurants and theaters. These represent very soft targets for terrorists. The mall was crowded with shoppers and moviegoers, and it was during a peak time, a Saturday evening. The mall in Bogota had extra security measures in place, and even then, someone was able to plant a bomb.
Looking back at some of the more recent large scale attacks, whether it was Paris, Orlando, Manchester or London, they all have one thing in common; the attacks took place during peak crowd times on soft targets. In this age of worldwide terrorism, staying attune to the patterns of where and when terrorist events generally happen and altering your schedule to avoid the peak times and crowds can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to a terrorist attack.